The work presented here seeks to compare different means of providing uniflow scavenging for a 2-stroke engine suitable to power a U.S. light-duty truck. Through the “end-to-end” nature of the uniflow scavenging process, it can in theory provide improved gas-exchange characteristics for such an engine operating cycle; furthermore, because the exhaust leaves at one end and the fresh charge enters at the other, the full circumference of the cylinder can be used for the ports for each flow, and therefore, for a given gas exchange angle-area demand, expansion can theoretically be maximized over more traditional loop-scavenging approaches. This gives a further thermodynamic advantage. The three different configurations studied, which could all utilize uniflow scavenging, were the opposed piston, the poppet-valve with piston-controlled intake ports, and the sleeve valve. These are described and all are compared in terms of indicated fuel consumption for the same cylinder swept volume, compression ratio, and exhaust pressure, for the same target indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) and indicated specific power. A new methodology for optimization was developed using a one-dimensional engine simulation package which also took into account charging system work. The charging system was assumed to be a combination of supercharger and turbocharger to permit some waste energy recovery. As a result of this work, it was found that the opposed-piston configuration provides the best attributes since it allows maximum expansion and minimum heat transfer. Its advantage over the other two (whose results were very close) was of the order of 8.3% in terms of net specific fuel consumption (NSFC) (defined as indicted specific fuel consumption (ISFC) net of supercharger power). Part of its advantage also stems from its requirement for minimum air supply system work, included in this NSFC value. Interestingly, it was found that existing experiential guidelines for port angle-area specification for loop-scavenged, piston-ported engines using crankcase compression could also be applied to all of the other scavenging types. This has not been demonstrated before. The optimization process that was subsequently developed allowed port design to be tailored to specific targets, in this case lowest NSFC. The paper therefore presents a fundamental comparison of scavenging systems using a new approach, providing new insights and information which have not been shown before.